Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Kindergarten Essentials

Ask the Experts by Dona Johnson-Beach, Pam Cronovich and Melissa Sharp

Q:  We are looking at enrolling our child in kindergarten this fall. How do I know if my child is ready? I know there have been some changes from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) about the age of enrollment, please explain.

A: Children entering kindergarten would benefit in having some readiness skills in place to help them meet the excitement and challenge of kindergarten.

Students entering kindergarten can state information such as their name and address. They may be able to identify some letters, sounds and understand that writing carries messages.

"Almost" kindergartners can speak clearly and be understood. They have gross and fine motor skills in place such as drawing vertical/horizontal lines, cutting with blunt scissors, and holding pencils. These young learners have some copying skills in place. Most follow routines, play cooperatively, label and express feelings, and willingly try activities. They take care of personal needs (toileting, hand washing, and dressing), pay attention during a story or activity and are working on patience.

Teachers recognize that kindergartners have varying skills. Helping them grow academically, socially and emotionally is an exciting journey for educators and parents.

MDE indicates students must be 5 years old by September 1, 2015 to enroll in kindergarten. Districts may enroll a child if their birth date is after September 1st but prior to December 1st upon notification by the parent/legal guardian of their intent to enroll the child in kindergarten for that school year. Districts are not required to enroll a child in kindergarten until the child meets the age eligibility requirements -age 5 by 9/1/2015.

Dona Johnson-Beach is a school psychologist in the Grosse Pointe Public School System. For the first 13 years she was a general education, special education or remedial reading teacher. For the last 17 years she has been a school psychologist working primarily at the elementary and middle school levels. Dona is a member of the Family Center's Board and Program Planning Committee, is involved in various professional organizations and serves on several GPPSS committees. She can be reached at 313.432.5292 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Pam Cronovich is a veteran Kindergarten teacher at Kerby Elementary School in the Grosse Pointe Public School System. She has been a Grade Level Leader in Kindergarten for several curriculum areas. Pam has also taught in special education as a teacher consultant, a resource room teacher, and as a  self-contained class teacher. Pam has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education for Emotionally Impaired Children and a Master of Science in Special Education for Learning Disabled Children. She has advanced course work in Social Work and Early Childhood Education, and is a member of the National and Michigan Associations for the Education of Young Children. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (313) 432-5314.

Melissa Sharp is the Director at Assumption Nursery School & Toddler Center and has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education.  She is also a member of the National and Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children.  She can be reached at (586) 772-4477. Assumption Nursery School & Toddler Center is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.

Save The Date

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 07:00 PM

Kindergarten Essentials: Ensuring a Successful Transition for Your Child

A follow-up presentation to "Tips for Getting Ready for Kindergarten", this dynamic Ask the Experts program is designed to provide parents and professionals with strategies to facilitate the skills preschoolers need to be successful in Kindergarten.

Our panel of experts will focus on:

  • GET READY! - A review of social, emotional, motor and early academic skills
  • GET SET! - Summer learning fun, and social, emotional and home - routine readiness
  • GO! - Helping parents and children to separate and engage in the adventure of Kindergarten

7:00pm-8:30pm Panel Presentation followed by Question & Answer session

Pam Cronovich - Veteran Kindergarten Teacher, Grosse Pointe Public Schools;
Dona Johnson-Beach, EdD, NCSP - School Psychologist, Grosse Pointe Public Schools;
Melissa Sharp - Director, Assumption Nursery School and Toddler Center

RSVP ~ Registration Requested, FREE

Register online or call 313.432.3832

This presentation has been approved by the Grosse Pointe Public School District and Harper Woods School District for staff development hours. Staff please remember to sign the attendance sheet at the door to receive credit.

The offering of this presentation and printing of fliers was made possible through community donations and support.

Download event flier >>

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To volunteer or contribute, visit the 'Get Involved' page, call 313-447-1374.
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32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.